Top Ten

June 21, 2017

MB college leaders welcome system-wide assessment

Higher ed leaders in Manitoba say that they are happy with the provincial government’s decision to undertake a review of MB’s college education system, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. “Evaluation can be a positive thing,” says Université de Saint-Boniface President Gabor Csepregi, adding that expanding college access in the province can create cost-effective ways to match students with the needs of the job market. Csepregi’s remarks coincide with those of Assiniboine Community College President Mark Frison and Red River College President Paul Vogt, who note that their schools’ ability to meet labour market needs helps to make a strong case for the expansion and enhancement of the province’s college sector. The review will reportedly touch on areas such as industry partnerships, finances, programming relevance to labour market needs, and student outcomes. Winnipeg Free Press (Subscription Required)

McGill medical school moves to better engage Indigenous, low-income students

McGill University says that it will redouble its efforts to keep Indigenous and lower-income high-school and university students enrolled in science and math classes in an effort to meet its diversity goals. Last week, the school was taken off probation by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, yet the accrediting organization found that the school’s performance was still unsatisfactory when it came to the supervision of medical students doing clinical placements and diversity. The school has reportedly hired a co-ordinator for its diversity efforts and is reaching out to Indigenous students in high school or even earlier to help them stay interested in science, which is crucial for the students to fulfill the prerequisites for entry into McGill’s medical school. Globe and Mail

NBSA concerned about recent Maritime graduate employment outcomes

The New Brunswick Student Alliance say that it is concerned by the latest employment outcome figures on the graduating Class of 2014. Released last week by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, the results show that full-time employment and median earnings in real dollars for PSE graduates in NB have declined over the past ten years. An NBSA release notes that there has also been a drop in the number of recent graduates working in jobs requiring university education or management, which the NBSA sees as a symptom of underemployment. “This represents a very real problem for the province’s ability to retain young people,” said NBSA Board Chair Sara Camus. “An educated, well-paid workforce is the future of New Brunswick and our graduates need to be adequately supported to stay in the province after their studies.” NBSA

Durham to launch its first four-year degree program

Durham College has announced that it will offer its first four-year degree program beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year. The school’s Honours Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management is reportedly the first program of its kind in Canada. A college release states that the program will help students to bridge the gap between health care business management, clinical practices, and the procurement and management of biomedical technology. “The significance of Durham College announcing its bachelor degree programs in 2017, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, cannot be understated,” said Durham President Don Lovisa. “When we imagine our next 50 years, the evolution of what a college education looks like – particularly in the type, complexity and relevance of the programs we offer to students—Is exactly what we’re thinking about.” Durham

UCalgary receives $10M for bone and joint institute

The University of Calgary has received a $10M donation to support the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health. A UCalgary release notes that the gift, given in honour of Anne Shorrocks McCaig via the McCaig Institute Foundation, will provide the bone and joint health centre with a stable source of operating funding. “Our university family is grateful for this extraordinary support,” said UCalgary President Elizabeth Cannon. “Each day, the university’s researchers are leading the discovery of new knowledge and advancements that will improve quality of life in our community—but these innovators don’t work alone. They’re supported by many people behind the scenes who help with everything from co-ordinating grant applications, to engaging the community, to helping researchers advance their ideas forward.” UCalgary

Indigenizing western campuses creates unique difficulties, benefits

A recent New York Times article examines the efforts of the University of Saskatchewan and other Canadian institutions to indigenize their program offerings and aid in reconciliation efforts. Supporters of these indigenization efforts say that the university degree can be a “long-term cure for many of the insidious ills afflicting aboriginals,” from unemployment to incarceration, while detractors argue that the effort is “assimilation by a different name.” “Universities are so inherently white and Western, when you start to push against it, you realized how intractable a lot of that is,” commented USask President Peter Stoicheff. The article goes on to discuss USask’s development of newer buildings, programming, and extracurricular activities, as well as their reception by on- and off-campus Indigenous communities. New York Times

Personality tests predict success with medical school applicants: study

Personality tests can help predict the future success of those who apply to medical school, according to a new study co-authored by University of Guelph Psychology Professor Deborah Powell. The four-year study found that personality was a better indicator of success in clinical rotations than either grades or MCAT scores. The study’s authors tested medical school applicants for personality traits that experts thought would be important to a medical doctor—conscientiousness, achievement focus, calmness, confidence, responsibility, and tolerance—then analyzed how they performed in classes and with patients. “What we found is that in many cases, these personality traits were a key indicator of success as a doctor – dealing with people is a critical part of patient health and wellness,” said Powell. UoGuelph

MRU aviation students to access pilot mentors, simulators through new WestJet partnership

The aviation program at Mount Royal University has partnered with WestJet to give MRU students the opportunity to benefit directly from WestJet’s staff and resources. An MRU release states that the partnership will also see WestJet pilots act as mentors. “Because we are in Calgary, it's great to have our first partnership signed with a local institution that is so well respected internationally as well as locally,” said Scott Wilson, vice-president of operations for WestJet. Enrolment in MRU's aviation program is at an all-time high, says program dean Elizabeth Evans, adding that “the aviation industry is a unique industry that has such a great sense of it's own community that they really understand how to come together. And I think that the young people that are interested in careers understand what the industry is about.” CBC | Metro | MRU

Brock, NCDSB launch dual-credit exercise science course

Brock University and the Niagara Catholic District School Board have partnered on the delivery of a dual-credit exercise science course. Grade 12 students will travel twice a week to Brock’s campus to learn about kinesiology-related topics, such as the role of physical activity in society, ethical issues in physical activity in sport, biomechanics, and nutrition. “Offering a course related to student wellness is particularly symbolic,” said Brock Vice-Provost, Enrolment Management and International Jamie Mandigo, “as it represents an area that both Brock and the NCDSB share expertise in, and are committed to supporting together.” Brock

UOttawa convocation interrupted by marriage proposal

The University of Ottawa convocation for the Faculty of Social Sciences was interrupted on Sunday when the boyfriend of a graduate ran on stage to propose to her. When UOttawa student Roxan Ghossein's name was called, she shook hands with the faculty, posed for the camera, and was then stopped as the song “Marry You” by Bruno Mars played over the loudspeakers. “You were so afraid that when I popped that question that you wouldn't have your nicest dress or your freshest nails,” said Dany Raffoul. “Let me tell you something, with or without the dress, with or without the freshest nails, you always look absolutely incredible.” La Presse reports that this is the first time a marriage proposal has occurred at UOttawa's convocation ceremonies. CBC | La Presse